The extreme leftist Gidon Levy published an article in the Haaretz newspaper Thursday morning criticizing the torch-lighting ceremony at which he was present last night on Mount Herzl.
According to Levy, the ceremony was a "breathtaking demonstration of self-indulgence, the likes of which we have not seen here yet; It is doubtful whether such a thing has been seen in many other countries. A combination of Bathsheba for the poor and Pyongyang for the rich, a bit of Soviet Russia and a little Las Vegas, spectacular nationalism on steroids, long and endlessly flowing.”
"But at the end, after the hundreds of dancers and choral singers finally got off the stage, the scenery was dismantled and all the pyrotechnic lights went out, the torch-bearers scattered to their homes, bouquets of flowers in their hands, and with them the great crowd, a question echoed from one end of the mountain to the other: So what are we doing here? We have a country that clings to its past, takes pride in its made-up present, denies its reality and has no clue where it’s headed.”
He claimed that the Israeli government ignores the "occupation" in Judea and Samaria, and even “the settlements” were excluded from the ceremony. "Even the settlements they were afraid to mention here, lest they mention the occupation. It was the performance of the 70th year: intoxicating, false and breathtaking. Applause for [Culture Minister Miri] Regev. "
"Netanyahu was the star of the evening, no matter what the jealous people say," wrote Levy. “He left in the dust [Knesset Speaker Yuli] Edelstein, who is not a great orator. And if we’re on the details: Netanyahu spoke 13 minutes, 59 seconds and 62 tenths of a second, which is about twice what was agreed. Edelstein spoke for 8 minutes, 28 seconds and 36 tenths of a second, and then stole a little more in a particularly long torch-lighting speech - but who’s counting?”
Levy also claimed that "there were far more knitted kippot than the average on the market, as is customary in such situations; There were no haredim, no Arabs, almost a third of the people were not there nor is it their celebration, not including some Druze for decoration. "